News & Events

Visiting engineer and past student inspires with her story


Our senior students were fortunate to have a visit from past student Melissa Higgs Vicario, who is based in Dubai. Melissa graduated from Catholic College Bendigo in 1994 and is a great example of what an amazing career STEAM can offer. She spoke to the students about her experience working as a Project Manager for the multinational oil company Exxon.

Melissa impressed upon the students that despite not getting the high ATAR she wanted, she did enough to be accepted into her chosen course of engineering. By working hard and setting goals, she graduated from RMIT with Civil Engineering and Business Administration degrees, ranked second in her graduating class. As a result she had five international companies interested in her as a graduate. Demonstrating motivation and organisation by undertaking extra-curricular activities also helped make her attractive to future employers.

Melissa’s career has taken her around the world with work in Aceh (Indonesia), Qatar, Angola and Iraq. She advised the students to work hard for their dreams, including getting work experience wherever possible, chasing scholarship and networking opportunities, developing public speaking skills and learning a second language. Melissa told the students that she has learned to value cultural tolerance and warned against complacency of discrimination and harassment in the workplace.

Any student who is interested in asking Melissa questions or finding out more about her experiences as a woman succeeding in a very male-dominated field is invited to contact the Alumni Office for her contact details